City of Kennesaw’s Andrew Gasparini Selected for Global Ties U.S. Emerging Leaders Program
Andrew Gasparini, the Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Kennesaw, has been selected as one of 21 participants from across the country for the 2021 Global Ties U.S. Emerging Leaders Program.
Gasparini recently represented the State of Georgia and the Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) in the Emerging Leaders cohort at the Global Ties U.S. National Conference. As a member of the Global Ties U.S. network, GCIV implements professional exchange programs in Georgia on behalf of the U.S. Department of State and other agencies. GCIV’s mission is to foster professional, cultural and educational experiences that connect Georgia’s citizens and international leaders to create positive global change.
Through the Global Ties U.S. Emerging Leaders Program, Gasparini will be able to network with established public diplomacy professionals, attend workshops and receive assistance in completing a public service project of his own design.
“Recently, I had the opportunity of connecting with other young professionals and those already established in the field of public diplomacy to deepen our understanding and appreciation of international exchange through the Global Ties U.S. National Conference,” says Gasparini. “I was able to expand my vision of how and where diplomacy can be conducted and recognize the impact of the Georgia Council for International Visitors, and more largely the State of Georgia, on the world stage. Most of the sessions I attended dived into topics that intersected my two interests of community development and international exchange, and I am excited to put new pieces of knowledge into practice for my Emerging Leaders community service project in the City of Kennesaw.”
Gasparini aims to connect the Kennesaw community with the world. He plans to achieve this by establishing the Sister Cities program at the City of Kennesaw.
Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy. Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world. By forming these relationships, President Eisenhower reasoned that people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts.
“My goal is to establish the Kennesaw Sister City Commission that will be directed by globally-engaged community leaders and serve as the governing structure for future foreign city partnerships, focusing on cultural, economic and educational cross-collaboration,” Gasparini adds. “I am tremendously appreciative of this experience and the continued support from GCIV, and I hope I can be of service to my hometown of Kennesaw as its Assistant to the City Manager.”
Gasparini interned with GCIV in the summers of 2018 and 2020, first as a program coordinator and then as a CRM software developer. He was inspired by the organization’s mission to promote citizen diplomacy.
“The greatest takeaway from my time with GCIV is that diplomacy and global exchange are not monopolized by D.C., but have a more profound impact at the local level, and it is this piece of knowledge that I will carry with me in my pursuit for a more connected world,” Gasparini adds.